Helping or Hindering

It’s been awhile since I last posted, time has just flown by! As my four boys grow older, I find myself balancing the fine line between holding onto them still being little while providing them enough independence to grow. Make no mistake, it’s not easy! Ultimately, in my opinion, creating opportunities to create independence and gain life skills, initially takes a lot of work, but in the end, if your consistent, the payoffs are huge for your son (and you).

My oldest, at 15 (Yikes!) is perfectly capable of contributing around the house. He’s has a busy life meeting demands required to achieve good grades, committed to his love of hockey and having a social life, yet nothing earth shattering or terribly challenging. Is it too much to expect a little cooperation in contributing to our home?

So here’s the deal… I’m pleased to have the house that the boys come to hang out at. I want to always be that home for my children, it keeps them close and gives me the chance to interact with their friends. Dual benefit. This weekend when he had a group of friends over, which of course, I welcomed, I was rather disappointed to see how little attempt he made to clean up after the boys left.

This is how the sink was left!
This is how the sink was left!

The sink was full of dishes, and the countertop where they ate had a few napkins and dribble from food.  I don’t expect the guests to do much heavy-lifting, but I do feel that after the friends leave, my son is capable of cleaning up. If nothing else, even attempting to clean up… but to just leave it and assume Mom will take care of it after allowing and feeding friends doesn’t seem fair. Besides, that doesn’t really teach my son to be a good host, to learn how to take care of a home and to contribute to the family, does it if I just go ahead and clean up after him and his guests. What do you think?

Would it have been easy for me to just clean it up and be done with it? Sure. It would have taken no time at all and the dishes would have been cleaned and put in the dishwasher to exactly my liking… but that’s not what I did. I made him clean up after himself because I want to raise a son who can clean up after himself, has manners and can be independent. But yeah… it’s sometimes more work to go through the effort to teach these lessons.

Is it worth it? Am I helping or hindering? I think helping more than hindering. Hopefully next time, things will be a but more tidy when I return to the kitchen after friends have left:)